Series 1 Episode 9
“What are you doing?” Weathers cried as the creatures headed straight for the Doctor. Weathers leaped to his feet and tried to jostle the Doctor away. The Time Lord however would not let anyone else die and, as he saw the creatures attack he managed to push Weathers away, the apparitions slamming into his chest and sending him flying backwards through the air.
Weathers watched as the Doctor slammed against the floor, unmoving. He heard another tremendous roar and turned. The Sandman brought back a scythed arm and sent it crashing down onto Weathers.
“Noooooo!” he cried.
The Doctor showed he wasn’t dead after all, when he tripped Weathers down onto the floor, the scythe swishing past above them in the air. The Doctor got to his feet and yanked Weathers up too.
“Now for pities sake man, listen to me,” he growled, “that is the Sandman and he is going to kill you.” The Sandman roared its echoing roar again and took another swing. This time the Time Lord pushed Weathers backwards and he moved away as well, the black scythe slamming harmlessly into the ground.
“Run!” the Doctor roared, pushing Weathers forwards. The Time Lord ran off with the officer not too far behind him.
The Queen and her personal protector, Harry Trudge, were locked inside a small room in one of the local shack like buildings, keeping quite enough to go unnoticed by anyone.
Outside they could hear the screams and the terror as men died in the horrific massacre. The symphony of pain was accompanied by a regular crescendo of thunder and lightning and a bass line of earth rumbling and trembling. Items on shelves and tables were rattling and smashing on the floor and, for the first time since she had visited the Torchwood Estate, the Queen felt actually frightened, afraid that she may die here.
One of the nightmarish creatures flew past the window and Trudge ushered the Queen to duck. He hid behind the wall next to the door, pistol drawn ready to shoot anyone, or perhaps more appropriately, anything that should come inside.
They heard the door-lock click and it swung open. Trudge leapt to his feet about to shoot but the younger more agile Weathers was there first, wrestling the pistol off of him.
The Doctor turned and went to lock the door, only to realise he didn’t have his sonic screwdriver. He turned to Weathers and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck.
“Where are my things?” he snapped almost viciously.
“What?” Weathers asked disorientated by the sudden outburst.
“My items, my possessions, my personal effects, for pities sake my things?! Where are they my things?!”
“What the hell are those creatures?” Trudge asked in his deep threatening voice.
“My things?” the Doctor growled.
“You will answer me this instant sir!” Trudge said loudly.
“Keep your voice down,” the Queen ordered.
“Listen to me…”
“Shut up,” the Doctor snapped. He turned to Trudge. “I have enough on my plate right now to go explaining things to you so stand there, do your job and shut up!”
“How am I supposed to do my job when I don’t know what I am protecting Her Majesty from?”
“You don’t get the whole shutting up thing do you?” the Doctor said sarcastically.
“What do you expect me to do sir?”
“Shut up, stand there and at least look useful. Now you…” he went on before Trudge could say anything in response, “you, Weathers, will tell me where my things are! Now!”
“The main hold,” Weathers managed to spit out as another almighty cry erupted from outside. “The storage room on the other side of the camp.”
“Oh just wonderful,” the Doctor moaned pushing Weathers away. “Why the hell don’t you humans ever think about what’s easiest for me?”
“Doctor,” the Queen piped up, “what are we going to do.” He turned to her with what seemed to be a look of disbelief written across his face.
“Suddenly there’s a we?” he replied. The Queen looked stunned. The Doctor smiled but it was a sneery smile. “Oh yeah you’re used to people thinking about you all the time, putting you first in everything aren’t you? But let’s review our history shall we? The first time we met I was my old too soft self, you could get away with murder around me and I…well that’s a lie as I have never been a big supporter of murder. The point is you banished me and I simply accepted it. You banished me despite me saving your life! This time you see me, you arrest me, you have me sentenced to be executed by the firing squad and now you expect me to help you?! You apes don’t half have audacity I tell you that.”
“I will not be spoken to like that,” the Queen snapped.
“Yes you will!” the Doctor roared. “I have had enough of all of you! I would leave you here behind but sadly that isn’t how I do things! Now, you want to get out of…” He was cut off by more cries for help and more hollow screams from the nightmare creatures. “If you want to get out of that,” he said, “then you will listen to me and do whatever I say without question or hesitation, that way me may just survive.”
“And what are we going to do?” Trudge dared to ask.
“First we get my things, and then we find out what exactly the Sandman is after in your world then I stop him.”
“You stop him, as in you singular as in you alone?” Weathers said. The Doctor looked at him frowning.
“Well who else is there?” he replied simply. “I mean there’s you, the pompous self absorbed power seeking officer, there’s him the burly Scotsman who can’t seem to see beyond the barrel of a gun and her, the Queen, the bitter woman who never shuts up moaning. I have a trio of unique people and I’d be better off with a pointy stick!”
“How dare you,” Trudge, the Scotsman, said back, raising his pistol. The Doctor gave him one of those `I told you so` looks that he finds himself using all too often in his opinion.
“Do me a favour and put the damn pistol away,” the Doctor snapped. “None of you are useful because none of you know how to stop him!”
“And you do Sir Doctor?” the Queen asked.
“Not a clue,” he replied with a smile, “but that’s why we’re going to get my things so that I can have help in working it all out.” He turned to leave before facing the Queen again, once more with a smile. “And it is the working out that’s the fun part.”
He slowly opened the door to see a horrific sight.
The cracked and damaged earth was littered with dried blood and torn rags, remnants of red uniforms once worn with such pride and dignity. The sky above had turned a strange deep purple as flashes of lightning illuminated the black clouds and thunder tore through the air like an unstoppable juggernaut. As far as the Doctor could tell the people in that room were the only ones left alive in the camp.
The Time Lord, with great care, stepped outside, ever watchful of any passing demons. It seemed they had moved on to continue the slaughter elsewhere and the Doctor signalled to the others the coast was clear.
The Queen physically flinched on seeing the situation and Trudge gazed up at the dark hellish sky beholding its awesomeness and displays of power.
“By Jove,” he said.
“My God,” Weathers said in a faint exclamation of disbelief. “What the hell happened here?” The Doctor turned to him.
“The Sandman happened,” he said, repeating his phrase from earlier that very same day, though it now seemed a lifetime ago. “Do you believe he exists now?”
“Yes,” Weathers answered weakly. The Doctor shook his head.
“It’s a shame so many people had to die for you to believe me then isn’t it?” he asked rhetorically. “Which way is this storage depot?”
“Follow me,” Weathers told them as he took off. It seemed that now he had witnessed such a slaughter he had been hotwired into taking action and into helping stop whatever it was that was happening.
As they turned a corner Weathers skidded to a halt. The others slowed down to a stop also as they were confronted by a floating black spectre, shaped like some strange hovering creature of hell. It had its back turned to them luckily.
“Be quiet,” the Doctor whispered walking to the front of the group. He came to a halt just behind the creature and put on his glasses, inspecting it closely. It turned suddenly and floated off seemingly unaware of the presence of the survivors.
“What is it?” Weathers asked the Doctor when he saw the look of contemplation.
“They aren’t living things,” he explained. “They appear to be made up of entirely of drematon particles. They are energy creatures, nothing more than pure energy, a manifestation of negativity and of darkened emotion.” He looked at Weathers. “It’s almost as if your fear, the fear of the humans they stalk and kill, it’s almost as if it is that fear that creates them, that keeps them in existence, at least in this reality.”
“So if we stop being afraid of them…”
“I don’t know,” the Doctor interrupted taking off his glasses and placing them back in his pocket. “We’d better get going.”
Again the four remaining survivors took off at a run, only to be sent to the ground as the creature burst out at them brandishing huge scythes and screaming horrendously at them.
Weathers rolled across the floor and picked up a stray rifle. He fired only to find, to his dismay, it was empty. He ran frantically about trying to find a bullet as the creature turned and attacked Trudge. Though he did not show it he must have been frightened of the creature as it pounced with great speed, sending him back to the ground as soon as he had gotten up.
It went to claw him to death when a bullet flew straight through it. The creature temporarily parted like mist and the bullet ricocheted off the wall of a construct. The creature turned around and lunged at Weathers who rolled to one side.
“What is this devilry?” Victoria demanded power walking towards the Doctor.
“Are you insane woman get down!” the Doctor snapped.
The creature let out another howl and went straight for the Queen. She turned and stared angrily at it. It screamed at her again brandishing its scythes.
“I am NOT amused by this trickery!” she said unbelievably sternly. The creature recoiled slightly. “I am not amused in the slightest Doctor!”
The creature then simply began to fade until it had disappeared entirely. The Doctor frowned.
“I believe I have an answer for you Colonel Weathers,” he said. “If you are not frightened of the creatures then they simply disappear.” The Queen turned and stared intently at the Doctor, as if trying to burn a hole into him.
“Have you had enough fun yet?” she scoffed. “I do not know what it is you are doing Doctor but it will stop, now, this instant!”
“I hope you are pleased that your little stunt today has killed so many people.”
“How dare you!” the Doctor snapped. He advanced towards the Queen who held her ground. “You think I did this? You think I did this for fun?! You sicken me woman, you disgust me! You actually have the audacity to accuse me of setting loose creatures on this miserable rock that kill and maim anything that walks?! You think I would sentence innocent people to death?! You think I would sentence my own companion to death?!” He laughed. “I don’t know how you have the cheek. I mean I’m here trying to save your lives and you accuse me of murder! Well it may please you to know, woman, that I AM NOT AMUSED!” The Queen looked furious.
“Shut up!” the Doctor roared now angry beyond belief. “I mean I am trying to save your lives here, your planet! I don’t know why I mean this dull rock never does anything but get in the way, it isn’t even important! You are not important! You madam, you are nothing, no one! You are just another dumb ape running around on this backwater world like a headless chicken and the only reason why I save this stupid place from being destroyed is because of my personal affection for it! I don’t even have to be here, but I choose to be and I choose to save your sorry hide, do you hear me? So the very least you could do is show me some respect for once in your sorry little life!”
The Doctor went to carry on but was cut off by the now familiar scream of a demon creature from the pits of the hellish dream world.
“Doctor,” Trudge said, “I must get Her Majesty to safety. We have a horse and carriage waiting outside…”
“They won’t be there,” the Doctor said almost mocking Trudge’s simplicity.
“Never the less I must get the Queen away from here as fast as I can.”
“Go.” The Doctor turned and walked off in the direction of the storage depot. Trudge took Victoria gently by the arm and led her off, the Queen still dazed at the Doctor’s outburst.
“Mr Trudge, you’ll need this,” Weathers shouted tossing the rifle. Trudge caught it and nodded. “And Trudge, we’re going to need reinforcements,” he added before Trudge ran off with the Queen. Weathers picked up another vacant rifle and ran off after the Doctor.
The door crashed to the floor and the Time Lord power walked inside. He looked around and saw his items on a desk, a magnifying glass hanging over them. He walked over to the desk, ignoring the bloody clothes on the stool, and replaced his personal effects in his pockets, offering Weathers a jelly baby as he did so.
“Now what?” Weathers asked.
“Now I need to scan one of our friends,” the Doctor told him wondering outside. “Hey!” he shouted. “I’m over here, nice juicy food right here!”
“Doctor are you insane man?” Weathers asked. “They’ll come for us.”
“That’s what I’m after,” the Time Lord told him. “HEY!”
A familiar sound travelled through the air and one of the creatures appeared in the distance, speeding towards them.
“Doctor old chap…” Weathers started.
“Get inside!” the Doctor snapped pushing the officer back inside the room, locking the door behind him with the sonic screwdriver. “Oh it’s good to have you back,” he told the sonic device before turning to face the creature.
It went to strike down the Doctor but hesitated, tilting its head as if confused. The Doctor smiled.
“What’s the matter?” he asked. “Can’t feel any fear?” He looked around conspiratorially. “I’ll tell you a secret,” he whispered leaning closer to the creature. “That’s because I’m not a dreamer and I am not afraid of you or your boss.” The creature then seemed to start having some sort of seizure, shaking and screaming and fading away. It was effectively dieing.
The Doctor quickly scanned it as it faded away trying to get any useful data on it. He placed his hand inside the creature and felt an overwhelming shiver overcome him. He quickly withdrew his hand and looked at it. Goosebumps had sprung up all over it and his hair had stood on end with his skin turning pure black before fading back to its original tone.
He looked up and the creature had vanished.
Weathers emerged as the Doctor inspected his readings with a frown. The Time Lord looked up at him.
“I need to speak to him,” he said. “I need to speak with the Sandman.”
“Well that’s all very fine and dandy old boy but first I suggest we run.”
“From what exactly?” Weathers gestured behind the Doctor who turned and didn’t see anything. “What?” It dawned on him that what he had seen was a wall of blackness. An army of demonic creatures all ready to maim and kill. “Oh dear.”
The wall of death screamed and surged forwards and the Doctor took off, Weathers close in pursuit.
They turned a corner and were followed by their pursuers who got ever closer. Another corner and another and still the demons drew nearer, closing in on their fearful prey.
“In here,” the Doctor said unlocking a door and shoving Weathers in. He hesitated for a moment and smiled at his stalkers, giving them a cheeky wave. “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m a…” He couldn’t finish as he was yanked inside and the door slammed shut behind him.
“A dead man if you keep doing things like that damn it,” Weathers said as the Doctor locked the door.
“Oh come on, if we’re going to die, well, if you’re going to die, I may as well have a bit of fun.”
“I’m going to die?” Weathers almost shouted.
“What? Oh well probably as I can’t see an immediate solution to the hundreds of demons hunting us down who will probably break that door down at any moment.”
“You are very comforting,” Weathers spat.
“Well I was treated like dirt by you when I arrived! What do you expect, sympathy? If it wasn’t for you I may have ended all this before it started but no you had to…” The Doctor cut off when a wind began to blow, knocking items off of tables and shelves. “Get outside,” the Doctor said.
“What about those blasted…”
“You can take your chances with the ghosts or you’ll become one in a matter of seconds!” the Doctor shouted over the now billowing wind. “Just remember, if they don’t frighten you they can’t harm you now get outside!” The Doctor threw the door open and pushed Weathers through it, locking it again.
He turned to see a white light shining on the opposite wall, a black shape emerging from it. The light faded away and the black shape merged into a fully formed humanoid and not just a black silhouette as it had been before. This time the Sandman had an actual human appearance, almost as if he was becoming more attuned to this reality.
“I want them back” the Doctor asked.
“You have finally come to realise the truth I see,” the Sandman said, his voice no more an echo but still strange and clearly inhuman. “Tell me, how did you find out?”
“Your little minions are useless without fear, they are literally a nightmare. If you are not afraid of them they can’t harm you, and even if you are afraid they still can’t kill. Well not physically kill. People may die from the trauma of their presence but the apparitions themselves can not kill, which means that their victims are not dead. That means they have to be somewhere, and if they aren’t in this existence then there’s only one place they can be; that place is your existence, your world. So, as I said, give them back, all of them.”
“You are an intelligent man.”
“Oh I am no man, I am a Time Lord.”
“Indeed you are the last one in existence. We have something in common. But of course that is not our only similarity is it Doctor?”
“Your companion, Alana Trent, is rather enjoyable company. She is very hard to frighten.”
“She’s seen the Universe.”
“I know. Do you want to know what her…?”
“No,” the Doctor replied sternly. “That’s her business and no body else’s, not even yours.”
“You are right, it is not my business to know her worst nightmare it is my purpose.”
“Being in that Duosistence has gone to your head.”
“Oh no Doctor, it has given me purpose. You go from place to place without purpose, as did I but then I Merged with the Dream world.” The two stared at one another as a tense moment passed.
“There’s one thing I haven’t figured out,” the Doctor said, changing the subject. “The window is wider than it ever has been and those people in their comas are keeping it open for you but why are you doing it? You’ve not shown interest in Earth before so why now?”
“If I told you that I would reveal a weakness, one that you no doubt would exploit. But I will find solace in the fact that you will be forced to watch as humanity is devoured and absorbed into my world.” The Sandman gave a disturbing deep laugh. “They’d be better off in Hell.” The Doctor sneered.
“I give you a choice,” he told the man in the white suit opposite him. “Stop this massacre now or I will make you stop. It would be a shame for me to have to destroy the last of a such an impressive race, but humanity has so much more life left in it I would sooner trade an old relic for a promising new model. So I say again, stop this now or I will make you stop.” The Sandman let out his deep rumble of a laugh once again.
“And how do you intend to do that Time Lord when you don’t even know what it is you are trying to stop?”
“Oh I’ll find a way.”
“Such confidence,” the Sandman commented as if talking to a colleague. “A rare thing in any creature that faces me. You are not in the least afraid of me.”
“I’ve faced things you couldn’t imagine.”
“Wrong Doctor,” the Sandman said with a voice as calm as ever. “I am the creator of nightmares. There is nothing I can’t imagine. You may not have dreams but you have fears and I will discover them. My mental power is so much stronger than your own it is but a matter of time.” He turned to leave only to pause. “It may interest you to know that you’ve done it again Doctor,” he said. The Doctor frowned. “Mister Weathers is now in my world. You are on your own.”
The Doctor burst outside and looked around frantically. He did not see a thing. The storm above him was now as powerful and as rampant as ever and the Doctor ran down the small lane, turning the corner. He peered around and saw the thing he was dreading.
Though there were no creatures there was, on the floor, a pile of bloodied rags, torn and in pieces. The Sandman was right, he had done it again. He had sentenced yet another man to death and hadn’t thought twice about doing so.
The Doctor knelt on the floor, staring at the rags. He reached out and picked some of the cloth off of the ground. He felt them in the palms of his hands. The lids of his eyes fell as if he was in pain. He felt a cold chill pass through his body as a hand fell on his shoulder.
“It was going to happen anyway,” the Sandman told him. “You simply speeded up the inevitable.” The Doctor knelt there staring at the bloody clothes. “What is happening here is happening all over the world. The window is now big enough for my army to invade anywhere in Asia, but soon it will be so big I could send them anywhere on the face of this planet. Soon it will be fully absorbed and nothing…”
“Absorbed…” the Doctor repeated frowning. “Absorbed, you keep saying absorbed.” He turned and looked up at the Sandman. “Why do you keep saying absorbed?” he demanded. He frowned and looked to one side as if trying to work it all out. “These people aren’t dieing they’re simply being moved into your existence.”
“What is it you’re afraid of Doctor?” the Sandman said.
In a sudden rush the world was swept away and the Doctor felt a powerful tingling throughout his body. He closed his eyes as a stabbing pain pierced his chest only to open them a second later. He found himself in a room, next to his beloved Tardis. The Doctor slowly got to his feet and looked around. The room was filled with ghosts from his past, old companions and friends.
“Susan?” the Doctor said in a whisper when he saw his granddaughter. He ran over to her and tried to embrace her but his arms flew through the air as if no one was there. He turned to the Sandman. He said nothing. The Doctor turned back around. “These are my old companions,” he said. “Romana, Jo, Peri, Ace and…” He trailed off when he noticed two women, one blond the other a brunette. “Rose and Sarah-Jane,” he said, again in almost a whisper.
The doors hissed open. The Doctor turned but couldn’t see anything as blinding lights flooded the darkened room. There were three sets of double doors leading into what the Doctor guessed were corridors. A strange silence fell, as if it was the calm before the storm. Dark shapes appeared in the light.
They trundled forwards gliding silently across the floor. The Doctor protected his eyes with his hand as he walked forwards not quite knowing what they were. The piercing screech answered his question.
“Life forms detected, exterminate!” one of the shapes screamed, chorused by the other two. “Exterminate!” the Daleks screamed as they entered the room. The ones on the left and right began firing their lasers as the Doctor’s old companions began to scream in terror. The centre Dalek spat flames from its weapon engulfing more of the Time Lord’s old friend. “Exterminate! Exterminate!”
“No!” the Doctor cried as he watched his friends die unable to help them or stop the slaughter. Soon the floor was littered with the lifeless bodies and a Dalek turned as if staring at the Doctor.
“Time Lord technology detected,” it said in its mechanical voice. “The last Tardis. It belongs to the Doctor.”
“The Doctor has been exterminated,” a second Dalek said. “With this Tardis the Time Lords will be exterminated once and for all.”
“Exterminate!” the first Dalek screeched. A green beam shot straight through the Doctor and he turned and watched as his beloved machine exploded in a ball of flames. The Doctor fell to his knees about to weep as flaming debris crashed to the floor around him. He frowned. Jumping to his knees he spun around and aimed a finger accusingly at the Sandman.
“This is a dream,” he shouted. “It isn’t real!”
“So this isn’t your greatest fear. Could it be this?” The room fell away and again the Doctor felt the tingling and the stabbing pain.
He turned and found himself stood in space. Below him he could see a fight, ships firing down at a familiar planet. The surface burned and smoked, damaged beyond recognition.
“Don’t make me watch this again,” he growled spinning around to face the Sandman. Instead he saw his Eighth self stood over a control panel on board some sort of vessel. He walked forwards so that he was right beside his old self and tried to look into his eyes. The Eighth Doctor looked back as if he knew he was there but then frowned and shook his head. He looked down at the control panel, took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
The current Doctor turned away and tried to close his eyes too, only to find he couldn’t. He was again stood above the bombarded planet. He watched as, from the largest ship, a blue wave shot out across space. The entire fleet of ships exploded in balls of flame and the wave engulfed the planet, cracks appearing in its surface until it too exploded sending debris shattering through space destroying whatever was left in the wake of the wave of destruction. The Doctor watched as the Tardis flew past him fleeing the scene of the battle.
“No,” the Doctor said defiantly. “You keep saying absorbed,” he shouted spinning around to face the Sandman. There was nothing around them now just plain whiteness. “That means….what? What does that mean? Come on think Doctor, the world is in your hands, think!” He looked down, the cogs working, before he hit upon the answer.
He looked up but frowned as he found himself once again somewhere else, somewhere in the past. He was stood in a room in the Torchwood Tower in London. On either side of him was someone holding onto to something as a great wind threatened to suck them into the Void at the end of the room, in front of which stood the Sandman.
“Do you remember this?” he asked.
The Doctor turned and looked at his Tenth incarnation and then he turned again and looked at Rose. He watched as she lost her grip and he watched as his predecessor shouted her name and he watched as Rose was sucked into another dimension. He watched as the Void closed itself and he watched as the Tenth Doctor held himself against the wall, wishing none of this had happened. Reliving this moment was so painful for the Eleventh Doctor. Suddenly he shook his head.
“No! That didn’t happen! She’s still alive.” He stared at the Sandman intently. “Earth isn’t being invaded,” the Doctor said. The Sandman’s face dropped. “You are absorbing Earth into your existence along with anyone who lives on it. But the planet won’t be able to stand the Merge and it’ll be crushed and destroyed. It will cease to exist.”
“You are so very persistent,” the Sandman growled. “If being in pain yourself is not enough then perhaps seeing her in pain is.”
Again the world fell away and was this time replaced with a vast desert down the centre of which ran a platform which ended in a flight of stairs. The stairs formed into a ledge on which was a huge throne. The desert was littered with unmoving bodies. The bodies were mangled and misshapen thus resembling something not too dissimilar to cacti. They weren’t dead but were simply frozen and being forced to live through their worst nightmares.
The Sandman stood opposite the Doctor looking him straight in the eyes. Before him, on her knees, was Alana. She looked bloody and battered as if she had been dragged through the seven levels of hell and back again.
“Alana…” the Doctor said moving forwards. He was suddenly thrown backwards by some invisible force and skidded across the floor.
“Now come on Doctor be fair, here we play by my rules.”
The Doctor pulled himself back up to his feet. He sneered back at the Sandman and went for Alana again, only to fall to his knees as he felt a searing pain in his chest.
“I told you Doctor; here we play by my rules. Here I am God.”
“This is the Dream world…” the Doctor mumbled, panting as the pain subsided.
“Correct.” The Sandman held out a hand a chain suddenly appeared in his hand and around Alana’s neck. “And this is Alana Trent, a.k.a the walking dead.” He pulled on the chain and it contracted around her neck making her splutter and choke.
“Stop!” the Doctor shouted. “Don’t kill her!” The Sandman looked up at the Doctor and stopped the brutality. He smiled.
“I present to you a choice Doctor. Surrender the Earth or let your companion die.”
“I don’t have the power to make the entire Earth lay down…”
“But you do Doctor. You have the technology to make the window into a rift. Your machine is so very powerful. Use it to complete the Merge now, or she dies.” The Doctor stared in disbelief. He peered into the eyes of Alana who looked pleadingly back at him.
“One life for billions…” he mumbled as if in contemplation. “I…”
“Choose now or she dies.”
“I….can’t….” The Sandman’s face dropped.
“You have made your choice, now live with it!” he snapped as he yanked the chain. Alana choked for a moment before collapsing in a heap to the floor as the chain disappeared.
“No!” the Doctor shouted as he ran forwards. The Sandman appeared before him and grabbed him by the neck. His hold was like a vice as the Time Lord choked and tried to break the terrible hold.
“You will survive just long enough to watch the Earth….”
“You’ll die,” he spluttered. Suddenly the Doctor fell to the floor.
“Kill me and you’ll die.” The Doctor looked back up at the Sandman who searched for an explanation. “Kill me and with my last breath I’ll activate the self destruct mechanism in the Tardis and you can wave goodbye to the Earth. The Merge will remain incomplete and the window will slam shut making this entire existence collapse in on itself.”
“You make a persuasive argument Doctor,” the Sandman replied. “But I happen to know Time Lord technology. A Tardis has no self destruct.” The Sandman raised his arm as the Doctor’s face fell, his bluff having failed.
Suddenly something barged into the Sandman as the two fell from the platform and disappeared through the sand as if it was a sea of cloud. The Doctor ran over to Alana and kneeled down.
He grabbed the back of her hair and lifted her hand up gently. Suddenly a shiver went through his body. He quickly withdrew his hand. The black slowly faded away. He looked down at Alana. Quickly he scanned the body with his sonic screwdriver and smiled.
He turned as a body flew back up from under the sand and slammed onto the platform. It was Weathers.
“Weathers?” the Doctor asked. “How…”
“I am not afraid.”
A strange blackness speared the air as it came up from under the floor of the platform behind Weathers. It merged back into the Sandman. He grabbed Weathers by the hair and threw him back over his shoulder. The soldier skidded hard across the floor falling off the edge back below the sand. The Sandman turned from watching Weathers and his face dropped as he saw the Doctor holding the `body` of Alana.
“I guess you found out my worst fear after all Sandman,” the Doctor said standing to his feet. “Now it’s over. It’s time for me to stop you.” The Sandman laughed again.
“Good luck trying to beat me in my own world.”
“We’re not in your world. I don’t dream so I can’t be in your world. This is an illusion. None of this is real!” he shouted as he span around arms outstretched. “You said it yourself; your mental powers are unparalleled. Ever since that portal opened you’ve been planting illusions in my head, well not anymore.”
Suddenly the illusionary world fell away replaced with a familiar courtyard. The Doctor stood in front of the Tardis and opposite him was the Sandman.
“How did you…” the Sandman began a sneer across his face.
“I touched the body of Alana and found her the same as your minions. I got the shiver, my hand turned black. Not to mention Weathers. He said `I am not afraid`, as in present tense. He wouldn’t be able to move freely in your world. All I had to do was think clearly, forget my sorrow for everyone that has fallen to you. They can be saved.” The Doctor aimed his sonic screwdriver at the Sandman. “They will be saved!”
The Sandman roared and his form suddenly shot high into the air as he grew to ten times his previous size. His shape and form faded once again into a tall, black, scythed column.
“You need this world to be crushed in the Merge because the humans are slowly draining your power!” the Doctor continued trying to buy time. He knew Weathers was going to turn up at any moment. He could just feel it. For once something good was going to happen. “Every time they dream they take away another piece of your power! Races who dream haven’t died naturally, they’ve been exterminated! By you! The last one of his kind searching for immortality!”
“I shall survive time!” the Sandman boomed back in his echo of a voice.
“We all must bow to time! Even me! Give up and stop this carnage now before any more lives are lost!”
The ground began to shake as the thunder grew in strength, the sky blackening to almost pitch darkness. The clouds gathered forming a blanket over the world.
“The Merge is almost complete! You shall die!”
“I am not afraid!” the Doctor roared as a final protest, a scythed arm bearing down on him.
Suddenly the arm flew back high into the air accompanying a roar as a cannon shot resounded over the thunder. The Doctor looked with a grin to see Weathers and Trudge standing with many red uniformed men all seeking vengeance, none of them afraid of the terrible weather.
“Fire!” Weathers shouted again and this time every one of the soldiers opened fire with their rifles, sending a hailstorm of bullets flying at the Sandman.
The Sandman slammed his arms deep into the ground and countless demons flew up high into the air from under the sand and dirt. They screamed and howled and the men began to break.
“Do not be frightened!” the Doctor shouted but to no avail. The men began to cower as the screaming monsters flew at them.
“Stand and fight!” a voice roared above the chaos. Queen Victoria of all people walked out into the chaos, despite the attempts of her protector to bring her back. “They shall not harm you! I order you to fight, or treason it shall be.”
One of the creatures flew at the Queen but she stood steely and adamant. She shook her head at it.
“And what, prey tell, please, inform me, do you intend to do?” The creature lifted a scythe into the air. “Enough,” the Queen said in a whisper. The creature went into some form of spasm and slowly faded. She strode forwards towards the oncoming hoard.
“What is she doing?!” the Doctor shouted.
“I said enough!” the Queen roared. “Too many people have died here today! This ends, here!” She looked up at the Sandman. “No more shall you terrorise this world vile demon. Go back to the pit that spawned you. You are not welcome!” The black demons slowly faded away.
The Doctor joined Weathers and Trudge and watched as the Queen stared adamantly at the massive black shape before her. Suddenly a clap of deafening thunder resounded and the Sandman let out a glass shattering scream as he flew at the Queen. The blackness turned into a spear and shot straight into her chest. She stumbled backwards.
“No!” Trudge shouted and ran towards her. The Doctor grabbed him and pulled him backwards, both falling to the floor.
“There’s nothing you can do,” he protested. The Queen slowly turned around to face the soldiers before her. Her eyes glowed with a black mist. She tilted her head.
“Such strange thoughts…” an echoing voice said.
“The Sandman has taken over her mind,” the Doctor explained pulling Trudge to his feet and edging back towards Weathers. “There’s nothing we can do.” The Queen looked at them.
“The Merging is nigh. The Earth shall perish and all shall come to dust.” She slowly raised an arm pointing at the men before her. “Starting with you.” She took a step towards them.
“Present arms!” Weathers roared. Trudge spun around to face the Colonel.
“You can not shoot Her Majesty!”
“That isn’t the Queen,” the Doctor snapped back.
“I will not allow you to commit treason!” Trudge spat as he aimed his pistol at Weathers.
“You are not the ranking officer here, sir!” Weathers exclaimed spraying spit everywhere. “Stand down!”
“None of it matters anyway!” the Doctor shouted, joining the commotion. “You won’t kill him.”
“If we shoot the Queen…” Weathers began.
“You’ll kill the body, he will remain inside it,” the Doctor explained. “The moment he would leave the Queen she would die instantaneously.”
“Victory is mine,” the Sandman roared as he attacked the troops.
“Run!” the Doctor shouted.
The troops split and ran in varying directions as the chaos and weather worsened. The Sandman, using the body of the Queen, began to stalk soldier after soldier.
“He’s won,” Weathers mumbled to himself. “We’re all dead.”
“No, you’re wrong,” the Doctor said solemnly. Both Trudge and Weathers turned to him. The Doctor looked back. “I will not let Alana die. There is one last option. But it has a terrible price.”
“Well spit it out man!” Weathers snapped.
“The only thing keeping the window open is those people in the comas. Kill them and you close the rift. You would save the Earth.”
“Then it is a question of committing murder to prevent it,” Trudge said. A few moments passed as the three men sat there contemplating this terrible option.
“And there is no other way?” Weathers asked after the screams of his men became too much. The Doctor shook his head. “Then we have no other choice.”
“It would also kill the Queen.” Trudge turned suddenly to the Doctor. “So long as the Sandman remains inside her body then she will die.”
“Out of the question,” Trudge said. “We find another way.”
“There is no other way!” Weathers shouted.
“There is one,” the Doctor mumbled. He turned to face them. “I sacrifice myself. The Sandman would sooner have my body than that of a human. He would gain such intelligence.”
“You will die Doctor,” Weathers protested.
“I will regenerate. The Queen won’t. Go, I will distract him.” The Doctor got to his feet. “Go now! Run!” Trudge grabbed Weathers by the arm and threw him forwards gesturing him to run towards the infirmary. “Weathers, it is imperative you do not fail. If the Sandman were to survive inside my body…”
“I won’t fail you,” Weathers said solemnly and he turned and ran off with Trudge. The Doctor took a deep breath and turned around. The Queen walked out into the small street from around the corner and they both stood face to face.
“Let her go.”
“Why would I do that Doctor?” the Sandman infested Queen replied walking towards the Doctor.
“Why have a human when you can have a Time Lord?” The Queen stopped.
“Are you offering yourself to me?” The Doctor gritted his teeth and slowly nodded his head.
“Yes.” A moment passed. “I have nothing else to live for. Alana and the Earth will die. You’ve won.”
“So be it.”
The Queen heaved and the black shape flew from out of her mouth, hovered in the air as the Queen collapsed and shot at the Doctor piercing his chest.
For the last Time Lord everything went black. For the last Phase a new life seemed about to begin.
The Sandman Doctor opened his eyes and they glowed with black mist. He stumbled forwards holding his head before standing up straight.
“Such vast knowledge,” he mumbled. “Such intricate wisdom. The Universe and all of time at my fingertips. I shall rule the….” He came to sudden halt. He turned quickly to face the infirmary at the far end of the street. “Something isn’t right.”
The Sandman Doctor bent over in tremendous pain, eyes closed. They opened again and the black mist had gone.
“It….isn’t….over,” the Doctor managed. He blinked and the black mist returned once again. His head jerked up.
“You tricked me!” he roared. Suddenly the Doctor heaved and the Sandman shot out of his mouth and headed straight for the infirmary. The Doctor fell back and sat watching the black shape head for the building. Several shots then resounded through the air.
That second the clouds parted, the sky lightened, the thunder stopped. The ground stilled as the Sandman stopped in mid-flight. The shape turned and the Doctor knew it was looking at him with pure hatred.
“I told you I’d stop you,” he groaned. “It’s what I do.”
The shape suddenly turned back into the white suited man it had been before and let out a tremendous scream, one that would smash windows. The Sandman jerked several times as the sun once again began to shine, the heat returning to the colony. The Sandman stumbled backwards continuing to jerk and seeming jostle with the air as soldiers and men and women and children once thought to be dead slowly began to reappear. The Sandman then doubled over in pain and looked up staring with such hatred at the Doctor.
“I only wanted to live,” he growled.
“Everything must have it’s time. That’s how the Universe works,” the Doctor replied quietly. The Sandman sneered and roared but his once powerful voice faded slowly along with is body until he had utterly disappeared.
The Doctor remained sat on the floor holding his arm gently across his stomach as if in great pain but showing none. Trudge ran past him to help the Queen back to her feet, explaining what had happened.
“Need a hand?” a familiar voice asked. The Doctor looked up into the eyes of Alana. A smile slowly spread across his face. He grabbed the hand of his companion and jumped to his feet.
“Alana! You’re alive!” he beamed enthralling Alana in his arms. He suddenly realised he never showed this much emotion. He cleared his throat and pulled away, his face returning to its usual complexion. “I mean, err, I’m glad you didn’t die.”
Alana couldn’t help but smirk as General Bridge walked towards Weathers who offered his hand. Bridge looked at it and smiled inanely before embracing Weathers.
“I knew you had it in you old chap,” he said.
“Again I can’t thank you enough Doctor,” Weathers said as the two time travellers stood at the doors of their ship.
“All in a days work,” the Doctor replied smugly. “I’m used to beating the no-win situations.”
“And even now you’re still as arrogant as ever,” Alana sighed.
“Of course I am,” the Doctor replied. “You know something, travelling with you is nothing short of a,” he paused looking at Alana and Weathers, “nightmare,” he concluded with a smile. He waited for a laugh but none came. He cleared his throat and straightened his shoulders.
“Yes, well, General Bridge sends his regards. He’s busy helping to explain everything to the Queen.” The Doctor nodded. He held out his hand.
“I hope one day we meet again Colonel Weathers,” he said as they shook hands. “You proved yourself to me in the end. I knew you had it in you. Never forget today.” Weathers turned and shook Alana’s hand as well. “Now come along Alana, we have worlds to visit, races to save, so much to do in so little time,” the Doctor rambled as his voice faded the further he got into the Tardis.
“We have a time machine!” Alana protested back as the doors closed and the Tardis slowly dematerialised.
A soldier approached Weathers.
“Sir, the men are wondering, will that thing ever come back?” Weathers turned back to his soldier.
“A great man assures me that he has faded forever. Another great people down the drain I think his exact words were.”
“Who was he sir?” the soldier asked. Weathers turned and looked up into the sky. He sighed.
“Just a stranger, passing through,” he replied.